Penn State students collected stuffed animals during the past spring semester, and turned them over to police to hand out to kids in stressful situations.
The Middletown Police Department had been receiving stuffed animals from Kiwanis and Members 1st to give to kids in recent years, but the Penn State Harrisburg Chapter of the National Criminal Justice Honor Society, also known as Alpha Phi Sigma, wanted to help out.
After the students saw a video of young girl calmed down when a police officer gave her a stuffed animal, they decided to organize a campus-wide collection of new stuffed animals to be donated to the Middletown Police Department.
“It usually calms them down right away,” Patrol Officer Mark Laudenslager said.
Police officers typically give out the stuffed animals to kids that are at the scene or involved in a domestic violence incident, an accident, emergency, or situation involving child custody, Press and Journal reported.
Bags of the stuffed animals collected by the criminal justice students will be placed in each police cruiser to be used at the officers' discretion.
The chapter plans to have more service projects to help the Middletown Police Department in the future.